why indexicals?

From: Danny Iny (danny@dandesign.co.il)
Date: Fri 30 Jan 2004 - 07:04:55 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1468"

    I've been thinking about the example of the park bench that has been going around here for the last few days, and I'm starting to think Michael might be right about his redefinition. The bench acts as a catalyst for certain responses in the viewers, with the responses varying depending on which other such catalysts they've been exposed to in the past.

    I tried reading Michael's article again, but I found the language very difficult to navigate (sorry Michael). In trying to better understand his idea, I thought about the new definition - catalytical indexicals. I know what a catalyst is, but I wasn't sure about indexicals (I understand the word but it doesn't seem to make much sense in the context). A search on Dictionary.com gave me the following definition for indexical (as a noun): "A deictic word or element". Another search for deictic (also as a noun) turned up "A deictic word, such as I or there?".

    Michael, I think I understand what you mean by memes as catalysts, but I'm not so clear about the indexicals part. On a scale of one to ten, how good is my grasp of your redefinition? Maybe we would all benefit if you could post your redefinition in just a couple of paragraphs, more clearly stated (the whole problem with the old definition is that it's so muddled and everyone has a different view on what exactly it is... a new definition that suffers from the same problems doesn't solve much).


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